Toastcaster Communication Leadership Learning Lab
Toastcaster 136: Why Listen to Small Business Owner’s Stories - Paul Finkelstein DTM OMGTalk

Toastcaster 136: Why Listen to Small Business Owner’s Stories - Paul Finkelstein DTM OMGTalk

June 30, 2020

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[29:33] Sometimes the best way to be a better leader and communicator is to learn from others’ stories. In this episode we hear from Paul Finkelstein who created OMGTalk, the small business owners podcast which he publishes on 5 different platforms.  

Paul tells us why he created it; how he interviews small business owners and its value to them and other small business owners. Paul also shares his own takeaways and what he has learned from the process.

I invited Paul to Toastcaster because when he asked me to be on his show OMGTalk, the four simple questions he indicated he was going to ask I found quite reflective. It forced me to think back and dig deep - which I found quite inspiring. Please have a listen to to our interview on Paul's show.

Paul Finkelstein is from Delray Beach, Florida, USA. He’s involved in the Medicare insurance industry and loves running and fundraising. He’s a Distinguished Toastmaster and is the producer of the OMGTalk Podcast. Paul can be reached on all the major platforms and at OMGTalk.com.

Toastcaster 128: The Rx for Leadership – Daniel Rex, CEO Toastmasters Intl.

Toastcaster 128: The Rx for Leadership – Daniel Rex, CEO Toastmasters Intl.

December 31, 2019

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[20:39] In a rare live interview opportunity, host Greg Gazin speaks with Daniel Rex, CEO, Toastmasters International during a Fall visit to District 99, Edmonton, Canada. In this episode, Dan talks about why he visited our fair city from Denver, CO and a special connection Dan has to our own Peter Kossowan, a.k.a. Mr. Toastmaster. 

We also learn a little more about Dan, what he likes to do, interesting things you may not know about him, how he discovered Toastmasters and how he’s evolved since joining the organization over 25 years ago.

As the CEO to one of the world’s largest not-for-profit communication and leadership organizations with 358K+ members worldwide, Dan shares some of his valuable leadership wisdom we can learn from. These include his thoughts on change, being a catalyst for change as well as his take on authentic leadership, and more.

Please enjoy this informative yet fun interview with Dan as a perfect close for this year and this decade.

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Toastcaster 127: Caregiving - The Ultimate Leadership Role - Rick Lauber

Toastcaster 127: Caregiving - The Ultimate Leadership Role - Rick Lauber

December 15, 2019

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[19:56] When we think of caregiving, leadership is not usually the first word to come to mind. But when you research what this often unexpected responsibility requires, you’ll see how it extends beyond a typical leadership role; often done over and beyond one’s day job and usually has emotions attached to it. 

In this episode Greg speaks with Rick Lauber, Author and former co-caregiver for both his aging parents. Rick shares a little of his journey and offers an honest insight as to what’s involved in really being a caregiver, what skills are needed and how it parallels with that of an organizational leader. 

Rick shares about how this decade long experience had impacted him as well as some of what he learnt about leadership and about himself as well as what strengths he never knew he had and those skills he needed to learn along the way.

The experience lead Rick to publish two best-selling guide books  Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians and The Successful Caregiver’s Guide which we also hear a little about. Rick is from Edmonton, Canada and can be reached at RickLauber.com.

Rick also appears in Toastcaster episode #69 and is a former Toastmaster. 

 

Toastcaster 126: Amazon Fire HD 10: Big Screen on a Small Budget

Toastcaster 126: Amazon Fire HD 10: Big Screen on a Small Budget

November 30, 2019

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[11:03] On Black Friday our minds seem to wander towards the subject of shopping and for many us, it’s the time to think about getting new gadgets for work, home or when we’re out on the road. In this episode Greg takes a look at the all-new for 2019 Amazon Fire HD 10 which he recently had the opportunity of reviewing.

You’ll hear his thoughts on the new model, some of the features, what it can be used for and how it compares to other tablets. It’s a follow up podcast for his upcoming article of the same name, which can be found at GadgetGuy.ca on Dec 1st.

Toastcaster 125: Square Wireless Payment System Helps Improve Your Cashflow

Toastcaster 125: Square Wireless Payment System Helps Improve Your Cashflow

October 31, 2019

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Every leader knows that cashflow is king. Very few use cheques or even carry cash these days. Enter Square a low cost secure mobile payment system. It’s an easy way for you to collect payments for products or services that’s also easy and convenient for your customers allowing them to pay by credit card, debit and other pay systems.

In this episode your host Greg Gazin has a quick look at three different options offered by Square, what they do, what they cost including their latest all-in-one Square Terminal.

The podcast is based on Greg’s two previously published articles: With Square, you too can accept wireless debit and credit card payments (Gadgetguy.ca) and It’s Hip to be Square published by Troy Media.

Toastcaster 119 - Point-and-Shoot Cameras Still Relevant in our Professional & Personal Lives

Toastcaster 119 - Point-and-Shoot Cameras Still Relevant in our Professional & Personal Lives

June 30, 2019

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[12:22] Our smartphones have become the default goto gadget for pictures and videos as the ability to take photos have become an invaluable tool in both our personal and professional lives. 

In this episode Greg looks at why one should consider taking along a point and shoot digital camera on their next trip, to their next conference or anywhere one would need to take pictures or shoot video and the advantages to do so. We also see how far they’ve come. 

Greg offers a glimpse at the newer FujiFilm FinePix XP140 point and shoot as one example. Some of its incredible features include wireless photo transfer and even smile detection. It’s also waterproof, rustproof, shockproof, freezeproof and amazingly inexpensive.

You can find a modified print version of this article at Active-Life.ca.

Toastcaster 118 - Grace Under Pressure - A Masterclass in Public Speaking - Lisa Wentz

Toastcaster 118 - Grace Under Pressure - A Masterclass in Public Speaking - Lisa Wentz

May 31, 2019

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[31:42] In this Episode, Greg speaks with Lisa Wentz about her new book, Grace Under Pressure - A Masterclass in Public Speaking from LID Publishing. It’s part of Lisa speaking and coaching program she’s releasing to the public for the first time. It’s cleverly broken into 3 sections: What’s holding us back, Vocal Training and Delivery and contains many topics you won’t see in most books on Public Speaking including 35 in-depth exercises.

Lisa will offer some valuable advice including dealing with your inner critic before, during and after your speech as well as a few stories from her book and how some of the exercises work.

Lisa Wentz has an extensive background in psychology, professional acting training and live performance. She has a Master’s Degree in Voice and Speech studies from the UK and is the founder of the San Francisco Voice Centre and has since coached public speaking clients from 37 countries. She can be reached at LisaWentz.com. You can find her book on Amazon

Toastcaster 114 Crutch and Filler Words Cripple Your Message and Reduce Credibility

Toastcaster 114 Crutch and Filler Words Cripple Your Message and Reduce Credibility

March 31, 2019

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[11:34] Simple crutch and filler words are sabotaging your speeches and crippling your communications and you may not even realize it’s happening.

In this episode, Greg takes a look at a number of these unwanted words and why we so often use them. He identifies some famous people who are also afflicted with this habit and offers tips and techniques as to how to rid them from your vocabulary as well as where to find help to do so. This is an updated version and reboot of Toastcaster Episode 42 and an article which can be found at GadgetGreg.com.    (Please Note:  The Ummo App mentioned in the episode is now no longer being supported by the developer)

 

Toastcaster 113 Top 3 Pro Tips for a Virtual Stage & Presenting On-Line

Toastcaster 113 Top 3 Pro Tips for a Virtual Stage & Presenting On-Line

March 24, 2019

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[15:22] The right stage presence can make or break a performance regardless of whatever words that may be coming out of your mouth. But what about an off-stage presence, that virtual presence, those times when you’re giving a presentation on-line, a webinar, doing an interview or recording a podcast anytime you’re in front of a computer screen?

In this episode, Greg, a.k.a The Gadget Guy offers an extended look at three pro tips and one bonus tip and things to consider when you’re presenting in a virtual world, things that may differ from when you are presenting on a traditional stage. This can help you take your next delivery from good to great.

Photo Courtesy Zoom.

Toastcaster 112 Not There Yet - Unique Narrative Essay-Style Podcasting -Terence C. Gannon

Toastcaster 112 Not There Yet - Unique Narrative Essay-Style Podcasting -Terence C. Gannon

March 1, 2019

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[27:37] In this episode Greg speaks with Terence C. Gannon who created a narrative essay-style podcast by putting a unique twist on the typical format. His style hooks audiences whether they are interested in a particular topic or not and shows how you can take personal & corporate storytelling to a whole new level.

You'll hear his motivations in creating this type of podcast; a little about his writing process and how it works in both the written and verbal formats and how he publishes his audio podcast simultaneously with a written essay version on Medium.

Terence shares specific examples of episodes, illustrating how the stories evolved and even how one popular episode emerged and came full circle from just a single word which has different meanings

You'll also hear how it's ok to break the myth of storytelling structure and experiment with ways to tell stories.

Terence hails from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He’s a podcaster, writer, social media marketer and developer of digital projects. He's the master behind the Not There Yet and The WorkNotWork Show podcasts and a member of the Alberta Podcast Network – powered by ATB.

Terence can be reached at Ntyessays.com, The.WorkNotWork.Show or on Medium @TerenceCGannon.

 

Toastcaster 111 How to Avoid an Onstage Meltdown - Hollywood Style

Toastcaster 111 How to Avoid an Onstage Meltdown - Hollywood Style

January 31, 2019

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[08:55] When speaking, presenting or even just talking to someone, when something goes awry, a meltdown can occur. And while it seems just another headline when it comes to celebrities like Elton John and Kanye West, when it happens to mere mortals and high-profile people too, it can have some serious ramifications if not dealt with effectively.

In this episode Greg offers four valuable tips on taking leadership in this situation on how to avoid a meltdown and what to do should things go awry. He recalls, as an example, an incident, which he wrote about that happened a few years back at the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show). It involves Hollywood Director and Producer Michael Bay (Armageddon, The Rock and the Transformers movie series) who was hired by Samsung to promote the new ultra high-definition 4K TV, but when an issue came up with the teleprompter, as he recounted to TMZ, “he cracked under pressure,” and bolted off the stage.

 The updated article (text version of this podcast) can be found at Troy Media and Greg’s Blog, GadgetGuy.ca.

Toastcaster 104 3I-Racer Technique for More Engaging Storytelling - Jock Mackenzie

Toastcaster 104 3I-Racer Technique for More Engaging Storytelling - Jock Mackenzie

October 20, 2018

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[27:04] It’s not often we get a school teacher or principal on the show but there are things we might have learned back in the day perhaps we’ve forgotten or can still learn and add our skills repertoire. 
 
Our guest, Jock D. Mackenzie has those credentials and more with 30 years in the field mostly teaching Language Arts to Middle School and Upper Elementary, now semi-retired, he takes those skills on the road. Jock is a published author having written the book, Essay Writing: Teaching the Basics from the Ground Up (2007). He’s also a Toastmaster with the Sunrise Club in Red Deer, Alberta Canada.
 
In this episode Jock answers the question, “What makes a good story?” by illustrating his 3I-Racer plot structure of a short story, a mnemonic method that he still uses today for personal, social, business or work situations. He’ll share some writing techniques, elaborating on “picture a story,” that can also be used effectively to improve both our speaking and presenting skills. 
 
You can read more about Jock and his methods on his blog, Teacher Man, Teacher Ms.
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Toastcaster 103 Is Leadership for Me?  Guest: Mohammed Murad, DTM, PIP

Toastcaster 103 Is Leadership for Me? Guest: Mohammed Murad, DTM, PIP

September 30, 2018

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[27:58] At every step of your life, our guest Mohammed Murad believes that we need to ask ourselves, the thought provoking question, “Is leadership for me?”

In this episode Murad gives context to this question and explains what this means. He also impresses upon us how Leadership is different for everyone. He also shares his vast leadership journey and gives us his 4 H’s of Leadership and what motivated him to take voluntary early retirement from the police force after 20 years of service to pursue his entrepreneurial journey.

Mohammed Murad is from Dubai, UAE. He is an entrepreneur and managing director of three companies. He has extensive experience in global marketing and branding emergency medical services management, human resource development and strategic planning for organizations. He is a Distinguished Toastmaster and Past Toastmasters International President 2014-15. (Orginal Interview 06/2017)

Murad delivered his keynote, “Is Leadership for Me?” as an educational at the recent 2018 Toastmasters International Convention in Chicago. You can subscribe to the recording at ToastmastersOnDemand.com

Toastcaster 101 Mental Health Crisis – Saving Lives Through Honest Conversations - Mona Cooley

Toastcaster 101 Mental Health Crisis – Saving Lives Through Honest Conversations - Mona Cooley

August 31, 2018

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[28:17] In this episode we speak on a more serious note – the topic of Mental Health. Our guest is Mona Cooley, family support advocate and founder of Cool Family Solutions, Calgary, Canada. She is also a Distinguished Toastmaster, Past District 42 Governor and regular guest on Toastcaster.

Mona has taken leadership in her community with respect to Mental Health. Not only is she a subject matter expert, her family has also struggled with it. Mental Health is everywhere and it affects people young and old and from all walks of life. All you have to do is turn on the news – people are stricken with anxiety, depression and death by suicide has gone out of control. Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, Rick Genest (Zombie Boy) are just a few who have taken their lives.

Mona says families are struggling and don’t know what to do adding that things can and are being done – and one way is through having honest conversations. In this podcast, Mona talks about this serious subject, shares some of her stories including one that saved a life and offers some thoughts on what people can do.

Our conversation with Mona is timely. According to a recent article in the Guardian (U.K.) Lady Gaga, had cast her friend Genest in her Born This Way video and wrote on Twitter. ”The suicide…is beyond devastating. We have to work harder to change the culture, bring mental health to the forefront and erase the stigma that we can’t talk about it. If you are suffering, call a friend or family today. We must save each other.”

You can reach Mona at Cool Family Solutions.com. There you can also find a great resource page.

Toastcaster 100: Humble Beginnings & Lessons Learned Over 100 Episodes

Toastcaster 100: Humble Beginnings & Lessons Learned Over 100 Episodes

August 14, 2018

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[28:46] In the 100th episode of Toastcaster, we have a look back to our humble beginnings; some discoveries and lessons learned over 100 episodes. We also invite back Mona Cooley, Founder, Cool Family Solutions, Past Toastmasters District 42 Governor from Calgary, AB and first guest for the inaugural episode 1 recorded back in 2006 when podcasting was in its infancy and its technology still crude.

We hear how the podcast started as a High Performance Leadership Project (HPL) for Toastmasters. And with 100 episodes, over 220,000 downloads and 2,000,000 feed hits later, the podcast now serves as a resource not only for the Toastmasters Community, but for anyone who wants to build their confidence and improve both their communication and leadership skills.

We also hear how both Toastcaster Host Greg Gazin and Mona were excited yet nervous about taking on the project; some of the things they’ve learned about podcasting, the interview process and things they learned about themselves. You’ll hear why the audio format is good and get an insight on Greg’s vision for the podcast and what you can forward to in the future as the podcast evolves.

As you listen, you’ll pick up a few tips and tricks about preparing and conducting interviews, especially the importance of asking the right questions, finding focus and preparing for nervous guests.

And finally, thanks to you, all our listeners for tuning in for every episode and to all the suggestions and feedback you’ve given us. We hope you continue to enjoy the Toastcaster Podcast.

Toastcaster 99 About Corey OutSMARTs the Butterflies - Greg Gazin

Toastcaster 99 About Corey OutSMARTs the Butterflies - Greg Gazin

July 31, 2018

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[31:08] In this episode we see a little switch as host Greg Gazin takes the other side of the mic and interviewed by guest host Ryan Levesque co-host of the Toastmasters Podcast. Motivated by reading the book, Ryan takes the host chair and gets Greg to come clean to finally speak in detail about his 1st book, Corey OutSMARTs the Butterflies. 

Greg shares with Ryan a little about what his book is about and how he stumbled upon the idea and what and who inspired him to take on the project which lead him to find a new passion - writing for a young readers. Ryan gets Greg to pull back the the curtain to talk about his shy humble beginnings (long before he joined Toastmasters) but also what he learned about his journey, the writing process, the illustrations and what he’d do differently the next time. You’ll also here how it’s changed him and what people of all ages can learn or take away from reading the book including a glimpse into the book’s SMART model (not the one you’re thinking about).

Ryan also give his take on the book and how he feels it can help his young daughter.

There’s also a book give-away, but you’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out more.

OutSmartingtheButterflies.com

Categories: Public Speaking, Confidence, Youth Leadership, ESL

Toastcaster 98 Financial Literacy Leadership in Her Community - Natalie Torres-Haddad

Toastcaster 98 Financial Literacy Leadership in Her Community - Natalie Torres-Haddad

July 21, 2018

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[23:41] In this episode Greg speaks with Natalie Torres-Haddad who has become a voice for Latino millennials. She first found her niche in her community and is now expanding her reach around the world advocating for financial literacy and to uplift those feeling overwhelmed by debt.

Natalie, a.k.a The Financially Savvy Latina, shares a little of her journey, offering tips on taking on leadership within your community. She also gives us an insight on her unexpected TEDx talk experience entitled The Foreign Language of Financial Literacy and more.

Greg previously spoke with Natalie on the Toastmasters Podcast and Natalie also co-hosted with Greg a bilingual (English and Spanish) Toastmasters Podcast in 2017.

Natalie was raised in Inglewood (a southwest Los Angeles county). She’s also, an International Award Winning Author with her book, Financially Savvy in 20 mins (and a new podcast of the same name in both English in Spanish), a workshop facilitator, Real Estate investor and Toastmaster.

Natalie can reached via her website, Twitter @finsavvylatina and other social media platforms.

Toastcaster 96 Developing Yourself Through Mastermind Groups – Dave Rodwell, DTM

Toastcaster 96 Developing Yourself Through Mastermind Groups – Dave Rodwell, DTM

June 9, 2018

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[25:44] Being part of a Mastermind Group can be a great way to develop skills, learn new things or simply be a great place for like-minded people to get together and share ideas. 

In this episode, Greg speaks with Dave Rodwell. Dave shares his experience in creating and being a part of two Mastermind groups; what he learned from the process and how it helped him speed up the development of his business and speaking career. He also offers some tips on creating a successful group, what to look out for and what benefits one can derive from such a group.

Rodwell hails from Edmonton Alberta Canada. He’s a former long-time investigator with the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), Private Investigator and Security Consultant. His business has evolved to include the areas of training on security matters and professional speaking on corporate security issues.  Dave has also been a Toastmaster for over 20 years.

Dave can be reached at DaveRodwell.com.

 

 

Toastcaster 95 Presentation Too Long? Build it Like LEGO - Freddi Dogterom DTM AS

Toastcaster 95 Presentation Too Long? Build it Like LEGO - Freddi Dogterom DTM AS

May 1, 2018

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[30:59] Presentations and speeches way to long? Too short? In this episode Greg speaks with Freddi Dogterom DTM, AS from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada who offers up some serious lessons on crafting your speech or presentation. She also shares insights and practical takeaways on the perils, pain and passion of editing, in particular when timing is of the essence - one way, building your speech like LEGO.
 
Freddi is a Distinguished Toastmaster, Accredited Speaker (AS) and professional speaker for more than 20 years delivering keynotes, workshops, professional development and train the trainer sessions. She also has over 30 years experience helping people build their lives, careers and retirement futures. 
 
Freddi can be reached at FreddiSpeaks.com. You can also hear about her journey to her AS with her conversation with Greg  on The Toastmasters Podcast Episode 130
 
 
Toastcaster 94 Locking Down Your Precious Data

Toastcaster 94 Locking Down Your Precious Data

April 1, 2018

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[10:38] We keep our computers on lockdown, encrypt our data and secure them from prying eyes and online predators. But what about our backups and those external drives?  Our data is so valuable; we dedicate this episode and look at diskAshur2, an innovative hardware solution created by UK-based iStorage. It features PIN-authenticated and hardware-encrypted hard drive to help you lock down your precious data.

And this is no April Fool's Joke.

You can find iStorage diskAshur2  at Nuimpact (iStorage’s distributor) and Amazon.  You can also read the original review at Troy Media.